China Cat Sunflower ->
I Know You Rider
Next Time You See Me
Cold Rain And Snow
Hard To Handle
Me And My Uncle
Uncle John's Band
And We Bid You Good Night Jam ->
Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) ->
Good Lovin' ->
Big Boy Pete
Not Fade Away
The Race Is On
Silver Threads And Golden Needles
Dancing In The Street
-- Set 2 disc change is seamless
-- Reel flips during The Eleven and Silver Threads cleaned up with crossfade
-- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction
May 19, 2019 Subject:
Only non-Bay NYE party
This was the end of the first real NYE run ('66 had two shows) and the only NYE festivities not held in the Bay Area. You would guess the only outside NYE show would be in NYC! Was Graham unhappy that he didn't get to throw a bash? He would have the next three at Winterland. This was the Dead's second run at this Fenway Park music club. It was right behind - and in the shadow of - the Green Monster, just feet from Gate C, and the back door was the freeway. It was also the last of nine shows in Boston this year. It's not one of the month's best shows (and the very next day is the long-popular 1/2/70 Fill East), but is still entertaining (scan the second set list). It's the third NYE show but the first with extant tape! And better SBDs have emerged - until 2008 this used to trade in much rougher form, often bits as airy filler. The newenglandhistoricalsociety.com has a somewhat apocryphal but close enough tale to set the stage:
"The Grateful Dead played there on New Year’s Eve 1969, but not before trying to get everyone high on LSD. They spiked the drinks in the soda machine and injected it into a sealed bottle of Mateus. The Dead managed to victimize manager Don Law and the security guards."
First Set. You get lots of Pig organ but almost no audible Tom C., even with newer source clarity. This is all average to above average stuff, typical of '69. But the bookends are best: a nice China>Rider, and a fun as hell Mason's & Dire Wolf. Black Peter is attentively rendered but not yet fully arranged. Mason's has a long intro and is one of the better versions. Dire Wolf is a good example of the 2nd arrangement of the year (and not the one that comes in '70). Jer makes a joke about singing along, which he'd been making in Dec - you don't hear Jer cracking jokes on-mic for very long after this. Uncle John's is the 7th one and doesn't have the intro riff quite yet.
Second Set. The set is packed with 14 songs, but still comes in under 2hrs. As promised to the revelers earlier, Bobby does the dadaist Yellow Dog for midnight. Alligator isn't the best of the last half of '69, but the jam section satisfies and a 21min gator just ain't no frown. It has the Goodnight Jam that was soon attached to GDtRFB. Caution has a melty Feedback with Mickey's cannon [earlier copies were missing this minute]. After a sudden jump start into Good Lovin', it's abandoned after two verses when, during the drum break, Phil picks up on the beat and starts The Eleven. This is a unique section and probably the high point (is this the only Good Lovin' break off into 11?). There's a cut @11:08, though it's been smoothed on the Miller source. I rather like this 11 - especially the 5-7min portion - even if not quite 11/8 or the one from the next show. It's basically a stand-alone 11. High Time is one of the better examples of the spare, '69 arrangement and Cumberland Blues was just getting good at this exact point: this is the best one of late '69 (technically '70!). During a Sidewalks of New York tuning it sounds like they're setting up Jer's steel guitar and are about to do that playlist as a 3rd set. But instead they sort of self-discover Big Boy Pete. This appeared just twice in '69 and twice in both '66 & '70, making it a total rarity. They likely got it from the version by The Olympics [as with Good Lovin']. Jer also did The Olympics' Hully Gully [the Dead did it once]. This is probably the best version of the throw-off. Then it's Not Fade. The playing's great, the vox not so much, though it's only the 3rd one (not counting a couple earlier teases and brief accidental finds) and does whip up a tempest. The next tuning is a full-band Merry Go Round Broke Down, and then Mickey and Phil tease Dawk Staw. This draws strong protests from Jer, who wants another break to set up (and anyway it was played the night before). This is the 3rd of 8 versions of Seasons of My Heart - in fact they lay out two George Jones songs for Bobby to sing and Jer to play steel. Again this is the one you want if yr looking for the best version - and I can't imagine you are. Note that here you can hear TC. The Race is On is only the second one, and coming 6mos after the first. Unpracticed, they have to feel it out. They played Silver Threads & Golden Needles more, but they're still essentially goofing around with the NYE party-hatted noisemaker blowers. This is the final Ol' Slewfoot of nine, the Howard Crockett bluegrass standard getting put to bed. Um, not sure what happened to the steel guitar that Jer usually played on some of these, but sounds like there were a couple failed attempts to set it up to his satisfaction. By Dancing in the Street it's clear that the night is winding down and dawn is threatening.
1st Set: C 2nd Set: C+
Overall = 3 stars
The Eleven - basically a stand-alone and unique
Cumberland Blues - they've a right to play smug
Big Boy Pete - best version for the curious
Seasons of My Heart - if yr Jonesin' for George's weeper
SOURCES: The miller_95420 is both the clearest and the most complete. It's just a bit fast, and needs -1% pitch correction.
December 31, 2014 Subject:
Still fantastic 45 years later
I continue to be amazed by Charlie Miller's work. Here I sit on NYE in 2014 listening to a show from 45 freaking years ago and it sounds if they played last night. Incredible work CM.
As for the show, Black Peter and a young JG sliding through Rider are my favorites. But just awesome.
Here's to a reunion in 2015! Come on boys get it done and take Jeff and Hornsby with you!
April 26, 2014 Subject:
tea for two
Black Peter and The Eleven are mighty fine.
December 31, 2012 Subject:
It's almost 1970, but we're still living in '69 so lets get really flipped out !
Here it is, the only recorded Dead NYE outside the SF bay area ! Epic! December of '69 has just been a frantic pace, but they find a way to deliver this night as well. Bringing a west coast kind of chill, the temps have dropped since they arrived. What started as a mild Dec. for Boston on arrival in the mid-40's, has steadily dropped to a low of 16, with wind chill of -5 pilgrim ! Funny how they never leave the SF bay area again NYE, then move on to play Hawaii in Jan. '70 :) The music ? Well.... great recording, and there's true moments of brilliance but ...well, give it a hear!
Thank you Archive, Charlie Miller, and the guy who pressed play + record 43 years ago !! Happy 2013 ~
December 31, 2012 Subject:
A weird show, somewhat discombobulated, certainly exciting to listen to....it sounds like there are about twenty people in the audience.
The first half of set 1 is typical of some of those lesser '69 shows - sluggish, echoey, the band not really into it at all, sleepwalk city. I'll give one tune for you to absolutely hear, however, and that's Black Peter - the band's pace for this first half fits right direct with this new tune they were developing, played so very well so often in December of this year.
From Mason's Children on to the end of the set they come alive - listen to the intro on Mason's (a real rockin' tune, IMHO). Jerry makes a hilariously inept attempt at getting the audience to 'sing along' to Dire Wolf, and then proceeds to botch the lyrics...UJB, still in those early, pre-lick stages, sounds wonderful with Bobby strumming ethereal and Tom's ghostly Aoxomoxoan keys (where else but this site would you read such a description? :)
Set 2 fares better - we begin with what is certainly one of Jerry's absolute best bits of stage banter that at least *I've* ever heard - after Bobby wraps up his yellow dog epic. Just listen...
...and then we *start* with the suite, and it's a good one, steady, stretched, inventive. Weird to end it with so much time left - they fool around heartily with some upcoming Workingman's tunes and leave the back end of the show as a showcase for Bobby's up-and-coming role in the band; he was still in his teenaged, aw-shucks cowboy goof demeanor and I prefer to always think of Bobby this way (compare it to his drunken ramblings in '81-'82 for perspective).
So a strange show; recommended but go easy on that first set; the backwards-positioned second is where the gold is here.
October 1, 2011 Subject:
Right about now, they are beginning to have conversations about going in a new direction. This is the last glow of that pure, supercharged psychedelic period. Love it.
July 23, 2010 Subject:
Say Goodbye to 1969, the greatest year in Grateful Dead history. Live/Dead and Workingman's Dead!
Say hello to 1970, the second greatest year in Grateful Dead history. You see the trend - she's been trouble all my life!
January 1, 2010 Subject:
On This Date
I would like to make this an annual thing for as long as I can.
This is priceless stuff; the energy, you can't find it now a days. It sounds like you are there, and everybody is having such a great time (and I'm writing a review ). So simple back then. You know?
So as I review, I think this album gets a 5 on bringing one back to a simpler time.
Well the sound is interesting because you'll notice you get a whole heck of a lot of people laughing and having a good time. Totally wicked!! And the band sounds pretty good too!
In reality I really can't judge, but what I can say is I'm happy it is here on this day.
5 all around!!
June 7, 2009 Subject:
happy new year
great set list with some rare tracks and an excellent recording. check out the semi- accoustic stuff. great way to ring in the the new year of 1970, which I feel was one of the most creative in the bands history.
April 4, 2009 Subject:
It's Almost 1970!!!
Hey, that's the number of stars (one thousand nine hunder and seventy of them, at least) I give Charlie Miller and his work on this killer Dead show. Thanks Mr. Charlie, you have made such an incredible fun Time Vampire! I love it, love your work, love your sense of what needs to be done and what needs to be left alone. I big loud, honorable, fat cheers to you sir. This show has been a favorite, thanks to you it sounds so much better bro. The band kept me so busy listening, work just seems more like play.
Hey, did I say Thanks To Charlie Miller Yet? Thanks kind gentleman!
Garcia Kills right out of the shoot with his first lead in China Cat Sunflower. Sing with a voice between the lower one of the past and the high lonesome one of the future. Bob's got an honest voice that sweetly sings Mama Tried. And, harmonies that make me wish I was there that night. Black Peter, man, can you just dig those lyrics?!?! Seriously Heavy. The band is charging by the start of the 2nd verse in Hard to Handle, momentum. Phil has been just Jammin' all night, you can dance to his killer lines all night long. Not my fav me and my uncle, Gracia does do some moody leads throughout. Garcia's tone is really killer everywhere and Mason's Children is no exception. My guess is an Gibson SG, I could do some research I guess...whatever it was, it was an inspired tone. Everyone sing along with Dire Wolf, Ha!!! Again the singing that night was really fantastic, fun...Check out the feel on Uncle John!?! Just as mellow as you can get right!? I love the sparce fee/instrumentationl of these two songs. Just HUGE, FAT Gutiar TONE on Alligator, gotta give yerself at least a listen. There's a lot of GDTRFB/AWBYGN melody at the end. Really fun and interesting The Eleven, so if you are a huge fan of that tune, you probably already know this incarnation, otherwise, listen and be very merry. Cumberland Blues, just killer...ah heck, you get the idea, a bunch of neat tunes! Thanks Boston and Mr. Charlie Miller, we love ya!
October 25, 2008 Subject:
October 24, 2008 Subject:
big time upgrade!!
C miller....Man you rock!!!This sounds like a an GD release......I love this shit!!!!!Love this site!!!